Archive for the ‘Wes Welker’ Category

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Wes Welker was never supposed to leave New England. He was supposed to stay there for the remainder of his career, catching passes from best-friend-forever Tom Brady and terrorizing defenses with first down after first down.

Now he’s in Denver, where quarterback maestro Peyton Manning fools defenders with hand signals and slings the football around a mile high into the air. Like in New England, Welker is expected to quickly gel with his quarterback en route to whipping linebackers and nickelbacks from the slot, a position that he’s helped transcend over the course of six years.

As you might guess, not much will change in Denver. He’s once again going to catch dozens of passes — though the number could slightly drop because of the surrounding weapons — by separating with lateral agility and short-area quickness, two unique traits he possesses.

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Surely there’s no fear of an actual shortage of footballs in the greater Denver area. But, you know, if a Super Bowl can be halted by a power outage, an NFL stadium can run out of footballs. It could happen.

We’re wondering about the amount of fantasy footballs that can be distributed, and specifically the ones that will land in Wes Welker’s hands in his new NFL home. He came from a place with plenty of other offensive talent, but not an abundance at his position. It was a system that worked the middle, with Tom Brady hitting Welker up the seam often, and the likes of Brandon Lloyd used in a much lesser role.

Now Welker moves to a more dynamic offense with diverse skillsets among the top three receivers.

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Love hurts, or something.

Between Robert Kraft’s sometimes ranting, sometimes genuinely earnest comments yesterday regarding the Patriots’ negotiations with Wes Welker and the response from the wide receiver’s agents today, we’re seeing how the free agent sausage is made. As always, it can be a gruesome, unpleasant experience.

If emotion is ever involved in a negotiation, that’s the first fatal mistake. Long ago, the Patriots learned that lesson, and Kraft said as much yesterday. Like the wide-eyed tourist touching down in Vegas for the first time, Kraft set a limit on how much he wanted to spend — and therefore gamble, to keep our neat analogy going — on Welker, and exceeding that limit wasn’t an option.

Fine, and fair enough. In a league where finances are governed by a salary cap, such a pragmatic approach is needed to maintain balance, and optimize the opportunities to compete for a championship each year. But that cold, hard line strategy can’t extend to the point where all communication is severed. When that happens, relationships die too, and so can the opportunity to retain a player.

Is that really what happened with Welker?

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55th Daytona 500It’s looking like the New England Patriots and Wes Welker will not be able to get a deal done.

Talks between Wes Welker and Patriots management are over at this point, and the WR is going to explore free agency, according to a tweet from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

The Boston Globe’s Karen Guregian reports the latest development in the Welker saga isn’t encouraging, stating Patriots may now have to consider the possibility of the 31-year-old signing elsewhere.

A backup option for New England could be Rams WR Danny Amendola. Baltimore and Tennesse are rumored to be interested in the injury prone Texas Tech alum.

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That’s the everlasting question of our time. Or at least the time which extends from now until, oh, about a week from now.

We know that Welker will test free agency, knowledge which was bestowed upon us yesterday. And we know that the Patriots remain close to a long-term deal with him, though how close depends on how you’d like to believe and place your trust in. Personally, I advise taking the Frank Underwood approach, and trusting about two people at all times while sporadically talking to a third imaginary person who you’ll pretend is watching from their living room. Not weird at all.

(Quick aside: apologies for the abundance of House of Cards references today…I finished it last night, and you need to take the rest of the day off and watch season one in its entirety now. I said it’s OK.)

But what, exactly, is Welker worth? And why aren’t the Patriots willing to pay whatever sum that is, and do it right now?

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Whew, let’s rest for a second here. Since real physical exercise is against blogger law, typing many words without frequent caffination is often the greatest form of exhaustion, and we’ve had a busy little morning around these parts filled with reports which are refuted by rumors, and then pulled back all together. Good times.

So let’s quickly catch up on another important matter, but in less than a week we’ll likely look back and see that it’s importance was a little overblown.

Despite reports yesterday that Wes Welker is nearing a long-term deal with the Patriots, further reports earlier this morning indicted that he won’t sign a contract before free agency begins next Tuesday, and he’ll test the market.

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In the early stages of a contract negotiation, there are often vast distances between the lines drawn. That usually leads to one side mouthing obscenities and possibly even insulting a mother or two (if you have two mothers, I suppose that’s an entirely different problem), and then there’s a departure.

But sometimes — rare times — logic prevails, and unique circumstances lead to both the team and player determining that there’s a mutual need, and a shared connection. They need each other, man.

This love connection state is where the talks between Wes Welker and the Patriots are, and it’s what should ultimately lead to an agreement in the very near future. As in before next Tuesday, preferably.

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